Updated: Feb 28
What is the typical profile of an interim manager? Interim managers are usually professionals with experience at the executive management level. They are hired to make, lead and implement high-level management decisions in companies that need additional skills or resources - usually on a short-term to urgent basis. It is not uncommon for them to put out fires and take on the lead for a department or even the entire company during a crisis. But they also come into play when significant changes are imminent or when a key position is no longer occupied at short notice. Temporary (crisis) managers are increasingly in demand in times of change, economic urgency, and high turnover. Especially when things are not going in the right direction or the personnel for fast and efficient crisis management is lacking.
Hugues Chatelain, successful Interim Manager at SIM since 2019
Every mandate is different
The work of an interim manager can vary greatly depending on the needs of the company, but it usually involves taking on a leadership role within the organization. This can include developing and implementing strategies, managing projects and teams, and supervising and coaching employees. Unlike consultants, they provide companies with hands-on support on the ground and are an integral part of the team during the engagement period, rather than advising them "from afar." Every situation, even within an industry, is different. For the interim manager, there is no "template solution" - he or she must address the specific challenges in each case and quickly develop and implement individual and customized solutions that must lead to often very ambitious results within a limited timeframe.
The skill set of a good interim manager
Interim managers must therefore not only have very high professional competencies. They must also be able to grasp the situation very quickly and fit into the company and the team. In addition to high professional and management competencies, they must also have important soft skills. Good interim managers are able to build trust quickly and credibly. After all, successful crisis management can only be achieved together, and ensuring that the internal team is on board plays a key role. This makes the job very demanding, but also very varied.
Added value through an external perspective
For companies, the main advantage of hiring interim managers is that they are highly skilled individuals who bring an outside view to protect the company from an existing or impending financial, structural, personnel, or branch-specific crisis or to maneuver it out of it. This assistance is strategic in nature, but also very hands-on. Interim managers advise a company just as consultants do, but they implement the solution themselves and are responsible for the results. They come in with a "fresh head", with new ideas and insights, and often bring new movement to tricky situations and a breath of fresh air to the team. In this way, they can also help to strengthen team cohesion - by offering guidance and support to employees.
Administrative and financial advantages for companies
Filling C-suite positions is a time-consuming process - both in terms of resources, structural circumstances such as long notice periods of managers, as well as HR processes such as contract negotiations. When hiring an interim manager, Swiss Interim Management GmbH (SIM) takes over all these tasks. Interim managers are also available virtually immediately. The company describes the problem and its needs, and SIM takes care of providing possible profiles and all administrative matters, including payroll and social security. The bottom line is that the cost to the company remains lower than for an internally managed hire. This allows companies that opt for an interim manager to concentrate fully on finding a solution for the business problem at hand, rather than on anything administrative.
Swiss Interim Management: Market leader for competent interim managers in Switzerland
Since 2009, the interim managers of Swiss Interim Management have been successfully supporting companies in Switzerland and Europe (read more: click here for our case study collection on completed mandates). SIM works with a network of over 400 highly competent interim managers. Are you planning structural or strategic changes, have a personnel bottleneck in a specific area, or need short-term support and an external view? An interim manager may be just what you need - for new perspectives and new opportunities. Arrange a free consultancy appointment today.